Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and treats irregularities of the teeth and face. Treatment can correct an irregular or "bad" bite, also known as a malocclusion. Orthodontic care involves the use of appliances. There are two main types. Braces are attached to the teeth. Removable appliances are put in and taken out by the patient. These devices can be used to:
- straighten teeth
- correct an irregular bite
- close unsightly gaps
- bring teeth and lips into proper alignment
They also can help with procedures in other areas of dentistry. Examples include cosmetic and implant dentistry.
In young children, orthodontic treatment also may guide proper jaw growth and permanent tooth eruption.